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Congress Fails to Jumpstart American Energy Future

Pelavin: "H.R. 1230 undercuts industry reforms enacted since the Deepwater Horizon explosion, putting all Americans at risk from future oil disasters."

Contact: Eric Harris or Rachel Cohen
202.387.2800 |

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 2011 -- In response to House passage of the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act (H.R. 1230), Mark Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement:

We are disappointed by Congress' failure to move our nation toward a safe and sustainable energy and environmental future, acting instead to accelerate dangerous offshore oil drilling. Passage of H.R. 1230, and the reckless expansion of oil drilling that it encourages, will not succeed in lowering gas prices in a country that guzzles 25% of the world's oil despite being home to five percent of global population. Rather, H.R. 1230 and similar measures are a step backwards on the path to a clean energy future that protects workers, consumers and our environment.

The BP oil disaster, which continues to impact Gulf Coast communities, is a cautionary tale. Congress should be working to protect environmental and human health and safety, and restore our nation's Gulf Coast, not hasten oil production at the expense of critical safeguards. H.R. 1230 undercuts industry reforms enacted since the Deepwater Horizon explosion, putting all Americans at risk from future oil disasters.

Our Jewish values demand that we act as responsible stewards of our environment and our limited resources, and care for those most vulnerable to energy and environmental disasters, and today's vote violates these fundamental tenants of our faith. Expanding drilling on the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts is a distraction from the need to conserve energy and hasten the transition to a clean energy future, steps that will lower long-term energy prices and protect our planet.

We commend those who stood against this misguided and short-sighted bill, and urge the Senate and President Obama to continue to oppose such dangerous energy policies, working instead for a future built on clean energy and a healthy environment for all.


The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis. Visit for more.


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